How to Choose the Best Toys for Your Dog

While puppies have a reputation for being boundless balls of energy, adult dogs like a good play too. Adult dogs still need the same amount of exercise with regular walks, and stimulation outside of that. For most dogs, toys are a vital part of their everyday life. They can provide them exercise along with mental and physical stimulation. They can even keep dogs calm in stressful situations. This all makes finding the right toys for an adult dog quite important. However, it can be difficult. Adult dogs are often fussier with what they’ll play with than puppies, and some might avoid toys altogether unless given the right ones.

Find Out How to Choose the Best Toys for Your Dog

Every dog is different, so most dogs are going to need different toys. To start finding the right toys for your adult dog, you’ve got to look at how it is that they play. Each dog has a different style of play, but they often fall into the same categories. Most dogs will play with toys in one of a few ways. If you can learn what this is, you can make sure you’re getting your dog the right toys. Tailoring their toys to how your dog enjoys playing is going to give them a greater motivation to actually play with them since they’re made just for them.

Once you’ve discovered how your dog plays, you’ve got to consider the options on the market for that style of toy. There are plenty of toys available, but some are of a higher quality than others. You’ve got to keep durability in mind as well as safety. If you consider all these things, you’ll find the right toys for your adult or grown-up dog.

How Does Your Dog Play?

When looking for the right toys for your dog, the first thing you’ve got to do is consider how they actually play and interact. To figure this out, give them a wide option of toys and watch to see what they do with them. Dogs will use the toys that best fit how they want to play, and you can learn from how they interact with them. These are the main types of play most dogs fit into:

  • Do They Only Play with Humans? – Some adult dogs won’t particularly like to play with toys on their own. This might be because they don’t have the right toys. However, it could also be that they get enough exercise playing with you. For these dogs, toys can be activities that you do together.
  • Do They Like to Chase? – Some dogs enjoy chasing things, balls, rabbits, birds, or just a leaf that is caught in the breeze that has gotten their attention. For these dogs you should find toys that cater to this.
  • Do They Cuddle? – Some dogs don’t particularly like to play rough and tumble and are happier with soft toys that they can cuddle.
  • Do They Chew? – Some dogs will chew their way through anything in sight.
  • Do They Hunt? – Some dogs destroy things when playing. If you’ve got a dog with this hobby, you probably know it already. They’ll often destroy toys as soon as they get them.
  • Do They Like Puzzles? – Some dogs prefer mental stimulation to physical. These intelligent dogs will take some special toys to get them engaged.
  • Do They Prefer to Eat? – Some adult dogs are mainly motivated by food. These pets can still play with toys, but they’ll need specific ones.

Outward Hound Invincibles Dog Toy - Stuffingless Squeaky Plush Dog Toy
Stuffingless Squeaky Plush Dog Toy
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Which Qualities do Dog Toys Need?

While the type of toy that you get for your adult dog will depend on how they play, you also have to consider a few other things. These are the things to keep in mind when comparing toys for your adult dog.

  • Quality – You’ll ideally want something of a good quality. This helps the toy last longer and ensures there are no safety concerns.
  • Safety – You need a toy to be safe for them. This means no small pieces can break off, and no chemicals used that are unsafe for mouths. A really important thing to remember is that your pet shouldn’t be able to get the whole toy in their mouth, as this can become a choking hazard.
  • Durability – Ideally you’d need a toy for an adult dog that is built to last. This will make them last longer and save you time in the long run for your pet.

These are all important factors to think about when looking for the right dog toys. They have to be right for the way that your dog plays, but also keep them safe and ensure it lasts a long time.

The Best Toys for an Adult Dog

The right toys for your adult dog are going to depend on how they play, their size, and their personality. However, these are some recommendations for the best toys that you’ll find in each category. These are a good starting point. From these toys, you can make sure the toys are the right size for your pet (a Dalmatian needs a bigger toy than a Yorkshire terrier!) and that they suit the way your dog plays; if so, they’ll make a great choice for your pet.

Toys for Dogs Who Play With People

If you have a dog that prefers to play with people, you have a few options. A good way to keep a dog entertained who needs simulation is with agility equipment. Small kits like these can easily spice up your dog’s normal routine.

Beginner Dog Agility Training Obstacle Course
Beginner Dog Agility Training Obstacle Course
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A recent trend in dog toys for some pets is noseworks. This involves teaching a dog to find a particular scent, similar to how police dogs train. This can be done as a stimulating game with some equipment, rather than to find illicit substances.

Snuffle Mat for Dogs Nosework Feeding Mat
Nosework Feeding Mat
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Simple toys like these ropes also work well, you can play tug of war with a dog using these.

rope toys for puppies and dogs - US
Rope toys – View on Amazon

Toys for Dogs Who Like to Hunt

A dog that likes to hunt will need a toy that can withstand some heavy play! These are pets that are likely to rip things apart, so something tough and durable is your main concern here.

Toys like these are reinforced soft toys. These give your dog the stimulation from ‘killing’ a toy, but it takes much more to break them open. This can save you from having to clean up pulled out stuffing all of the time.

TUFFY soft dog toy with squeakers
TUFFY Soft Dog Toy with Squeakers
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Toys without stuffing that they can drag along the crowd also work well.

No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Dog Toy
No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Toy
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Toys for Dogs Who Like to Chase

The first thing you’ll need for a dog who likes to chase is a ball. These ones are built to last so they should withstand a lot of play from your pet. You can also get balls with different textures if that is the type of thing they enjoy.

chuckit! rubber ball for dogs
ChuckIt! Rubber Ball
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chuckit plush ball
ChuckIt! Plush Ball
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Balls that can be thrown using a device like this can go much further. This is a lot of fun for pets who like to chase but need to go further than you can throw. This is a great solution for a dog that likes to chase but needs to be more active than most dogs are.

ChuckIt Ball Launcher
ChuckIt! Ball Launcher
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Toys for Dogs Who Like to Cuddle

A dog that likes to cuddle has some simple needs really. Soft toys like these are a great option for these pets. Since they play gently it is easy enough to find them something. Ones with different textures are also nice for a dog that likes some stimulation.

Plush Puppy Cuddle Toy for Dogs
Plush Puppy Cuddle Toy
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Toys for Dogs Who Like to Chew

A dog that chews through everything can make short work of toys and treats. For these, a durable chewing toy is the best solution. These toys allow a dog to chew on them for quite a long time without vanishing. This is a great solution for a heavy chewer, and you can be confident that they’re safe enough for your dog to have them in their mouths at all times.

Benebone Real Bacon Durable Wishbone Dog Chew Toy
Benebone Real Bacon Wishbone Dog Chew Toy
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Toys for Dogs Who Like to Eat

Dogs who are motivated by food can be kept very busy using a kong. These are little devices that you put treats into. Your dog then has to work at knocking the treats out of the kong to actually get them. These are available in large or small sizes and they perfectly suit a pet who only wants to play when there’s a treat involved.

KONG - Classic Rubber Dog Toy
KONG Rubber Toy
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Toys for Dogs Who Like Puzzles

A dog that needs mental stimulation can be kept busy with a dog puzzle like this. It can help a dog stay mentally engaged at home, even when you don’t have time to sit and play with them.

Otherwise, games like hide and seek can work great for these pets. Teaching a dog to search out a particular toy on command can give them stimulation without requiring you to get any additional toys.

Outward Hound - Interactive Puzzle Game Dog Toys - US
Dog Puzzle
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Which Toys Should You Get for Your Adult Dog?

Those are some recommendations for the best toys for grown-up dogs. However, which is right for you will depend on your dog’s personality. Most dogs enjoy a wide range of play activities. This means you’ll likely have to have a few toys, like a ball for when they want to fetch. A puzzle or kong for when they need to be kept occupied, and a toy or two to play with just around the house. As long as you decide which toys are right for your dog based on how they enjoy playing, you’re sure to find some that are just right for your pet.

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